I don’t know where I’d be without limes in the kitchen. I use them for a final touch in curries, to add citrus notes to cakes and, of course, in a mojito! But what is the best way to store limes to prevent them from going bad? Can you pop the in the freezer or not?
Can You Freeze Limes?
Yes, you can freeze limes for up to 1 year. They can be frozen for around 1 year. You can freeze limes whole, in slices, as juice or as zest. Store the limes in airtight containers or thick freezer bags.
How to Freeze Limes
Like other citrus fruits, there are various parts of a lime that you might use in your cooking and baking. Each of these elements can be frozen in different ways:
How to Freeze Whole Limes
This is, obviously, the quickest way to freeze limes but there are plenty of drawbacks to using this fast method:
- Bag Up Limes
Take a sealable container or zip lock bag and place the limes into the bag. Try to avoid overfilling the bag as this can cause the limes to fuse, making it difficult to remove one at a time.
- Seal Bag
As you close the bag, try and remove as much air as possible. You can do this by squeezing the air out of the bag from the bottom to the top as you seal it up.
- Label and Freeze
Label the bag with the content and, more importantly, the date you place them in the freezer. Place your bag into the freezer, and you’re done.
How to Freeze Lime Wedges
If you want limes for garnishing drinks with then this is the method to use. They’ll retain plenty of flavour and can be used from frozen for keeping drinks nice and cool.
- Place Wedges Onto a Tray
Place the slices or wedges onto a tray, with the side with the peel facing down – this reduces the risk of your wedges sticking to the tray, but even if they do slightly stick and rip – you don’t lose much of the flesh.
- Bag Up Wedges
Once frozen solid, take the slices and/or wedges off the tray and put them into a plastic bag, while squeezing out as much air as possible.
- Final Freeze
Label the bag with the contents and the date then carefully place the bag into the freezer. You should now be able to grab one or two wedges of lime at a time from the freezer.
Yes, zest can be frozen for several months in a freezer bag. Open a freezer bag as wide as possible, then grate the zest directly into the bag before sealing and freezing.
Lime juice is excellent for freezing. Pour portions of juice into the slots of an ice cube tray before carefully transferring it to the freezer. Once frozen solid, pop the cubes into a freezer bag for long-term storage.
Although it is possible to freeze lime slices, you’ll find that they become flimsy and lose their texture. Instead, opt for freezing lime wedges which tend to last longer in the freezer.
Unfortunately, lime segments will completely lose their texture once frozen and thawed. They will only be useful for their flavour. Instead, you may as well just freeze lime wedges.
How Long Can You Freeze Limes?
While very thin slices and zest can lose their flavour and texture within 2 months or so, adequately prepared wedges, slices, and whole limes can be stored in the freezer for about 12 months.
Ultimately, as with most fresh products, the more you cut them or break them down, the less time they will store well in the freezer.
Whole limes can last for up to 1 month in the fridge. Once cut, they will quickly turn brown within a few days, unfortunately.
How Do You Defrost Limes?
For quick use, pop the amount you’re going to use in the microwave for a couple of seconds (but really, SECONDS, unless you want your lime to cook).
You can also run the fruit under warm water for a minute or two, but both of these methods can make lime more squishy than usual.
If you have time on hand, then it’s best to put it in cold water, it’s going to defrost within 15-20 minutes. To avoid the fruit soaking up with water or too much juice flowing out, you can put the still-sealed bag into a large bowl.
Grate Frozen Limes for Instant Zest
I love to freeze whole limes, which I grab directly from the freezer and grate for instant zest. The friction from the grater and the fact it has such a small surface area means the zest thaws almost instantly.
Can You Refreeze Limes?
I strongly advise against refreezing limes.
Unfortunately, you’ll pull moisture out of the lime in all forms when you freeze it. When you refreeze it, you’ll remove even more moisture. When you remove moisture, you also remove flavour.
By refreezing limes, you’ll be left with bland, dry limes – that’s not the way you want to describe them!
Do Limes Freeze Well?
Lime doesn’t lose any taste or nutritional value after freezing, so a defrosted lime is as good and useful as a fresh lime.
It all depends on what you want to use it for and how you prepare your lime before freezing it.
If you want juice or zest, then freezing whole fruit is a great option. However, if you want to make slices for drinks, then frozen whole fruit may become too mushy, so you should carefully follow the instructions based on what your needs are.
Wedges tend to be the best way to freeze limes. They work well as a garnish in drinks but also retain their flavour if you want to add them to dishes. Opt for freezing limes whole if you want them for their zest
Don’t Freeze Lime Slices!
Slices of lime will become mushy and lose their structure pretty rapidly in the freezer. They won’t taste of much and will look shoddy, so don’t bother freezing slices of lime.
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